Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Avoiding the “G” word and other tips for preparing for life after F&M

  • 0

By Tammy J. Halstead, M.A., Director of Alumni Advising & Development

  • girl looking down the road

I recently had the privilege of listening in as two young alumni, Pharyl Weiner ’06 and Aamer Bajwa ’10, shared advice with graduating seniors about their own transitions from F&M to life after F&M.   The conversation was a way for soon-to-graduate seniors to learn from the experiences of alumni who have gone before them, about what it is really like to launch from F&M. 

In the first moments of the event I asked the seniors about their count down to Graduation Day and was surprised by the resounding silence that followed.  What did it mean?  While the count down was definitely taking place, I soon discovered that, given the mixed feelings it evokes, the “G“ word was one to be avoided.  Instead we spoke of “The Day” and “the word we aren’t saying.”  In immediate remembrance of that time, from our two alumni guests burst forth tales of their own senior year trepidation, which flowed into stories of discovery, frustration, joy, adventure… and these tips:

  • Building a new social network is an important part of launching.  Get started by connecting with other alumni in your new area, join a community sports team (many are more about social gathering than competing), check out community clubs and organizations, and look to the local United Way for volunteer opportunities.  And, remember that most of the people you meet will welcome you into their city!
  • Thinking of living at home?  It is a great way to save some money.  If you decide to give it a try, be prepared to respectfully negotiate boundaries and rules, and know your limits… if 3-6 months will be all that the household can take, have a plan A and a plan B based on that timeline.
  • On following your dream vs. following money.  Follow your dream, have as much information as you can gather, and know your comfort level with risk.  If following your dream will leave you worried and unable to sleep at night – it may be time to recalibrate and create alternate pathways to following your passion.      
  • Credit cards.  Take heed of cautionary tales of spending woes… but, get a credit card.   Renting an apartment without one may be very difficult.
  • On the next 6 weeks.  In avoiding the “G” word, don’t forget what makes this semester special, and take full advantage!  Take stock of how you are spending your free time and devote your energy to those activities and people that matter the most.

My favorite pieces of advice shared that evening?  “Always act as if your parents friends are in the room,” and “above all, recognize that the world outside of F&M is really pretty awesome.”

blog comments powered by Disqus